Many of us think of Lent as a somber time, but this unique season of reflection on spiritual matters can also help us to become more aware of the ongoing gifts of wonder given by our loving God. That said, Christians with decades between us and childhood might need some help!
Poet, author, and physician Christine Aroney-Sine offers that help in her new book from IVP Books, The Gift of Wonder, which I happily received as a gift to review – and to renew those creative practices that explore and expand our delight in the Lord.
As Christine says in the Introduction: “I am increasingly convinced that rediscovering our inner child is essential for our spiritual health.”
With that thought as the central theme of the book, the author began to ask people, “What makes you feel close to God?” Interestingly, the responses rarely included what we think of as spiritual practices but were more apt to involve playing with children, taking a meandering walk, or even stirring a compost pile!
Subsequent pages aim to “awaken your inner child” through creative suggestions and interactive exercises designed to implement the main focus of a chapter, each of which “addresses one characteristic we need to embrace:
- delight in God
- sharing our stories
- awe and wonder
- love of nature
- the ability to live in the present
- the intrigue of looking with fresh eyes
The author also encourages readers to consider such questions as:
“What do I enjoy doing that makes me sense God’s pleasure?”
“When was the last time you experienced a sense of wonder at the world around you or sat in awe of God’s greatness?”
“How would it change your life and faith if you took regular awe-and-wonder walks?”
“What distracts you from the Divine Presence and prevents you from fully appreciating the revelation of God in this never-to-be-repeated moment?”
Not sure how to answer? No worries! The author’s experiences as the founder of GodSpace and, with her husband Tom, the co-founder of Mustard Seed Associates, will guide you gently into the wonder of creation and God’s ongoing love.